After the worst offensive performance for Syracuse basketball since WWII, it’s hard to be optimistic about SU’s season. But inexperienced players like Joe Girard, Brycen Goodine, and Quincey Guerrier will only progress. Even Jalen Carey – who played sparingly his freshman season will continue to improve.
And Virginia isn’t exactly the best team to show off a brand new offensive attack. Tony Bennett may be the best coach in the country, and his defense always gives opposing offenses trouble. UVA held SU to a paltry 13-55, while out-rebounding Syracuse by 19 boards. In the last four matchups, the Cavaliers have held the Orange to well under 50 percent from the field.
It doesn’t help that Syracuse doesn’t have a reliable presence under the hoop. Bourama Sidibe was a huge question mark heading into the season, and his first game performance was not optimistic for the outlook of the season. Granted, SU never planned to run the offense through the paint. This team will do-or-die by the three.
SU will generally shoot much better than 5-29 from three with Buddy Boeheim hitting just one of eight. Last year he shot 38.1%, while Eljiah Hughes chipped in 36.9% from three as well. Add in Joe Girard and Quincey Guerrier and the Orange could be one of the better shooting teams in the ACC.
But that’s been the message we’ve heard all offseason, and in the first game that team never showed up.
But with upcoming performances against Colgate, Seattle, and Cornell, SU has ample opportunities for the freshmen to continue to grow and for the roster to gel. Last year Boeheim started off cold before heating up and becoming a sharpshooter for Syracuse. The same could be the case for this year’s freshmen, and they will be heavily relied on for SU’s offensive output. Luckily for Syracuse, it faced its toughest defensive matchup of the season, which will only benefit the young team for the rest of the year.